Review Summary: Steve DiGiorgio's dominant bass performance is worth the listen alone. The only Death album that can compete with Human for dominance.
If you aren't aware of this by now, I'm a huge fan of the band Death. I got this album a long time ago along with three of their other releases, but have only started to listen to it now. Enter my latest review that is...
Death - Individual Thought Patterns
In short, Death are the creators and fathers of the death metal genre. Every band in that genre can be traced back to them and they have certainly left a massive mark on the entire rock genre. Chuck Schuldiner is a masterful composer of brutal songs, yet still maintaining their melodic side with great soloing and harmonized riffs. While the band has never really had a true lineup, the group has always been accompanied by tremendous musicians from bands such as: Death Angel, King Diamond, Testament, Cynic, and many more. This album was released in 1993 and showed that the band was certainly heading in a different direction from what they had originally been like back in the 80s with their album Scream Bloody Gore
Death on this album was:
Chuck Schuldiner - Guitar and Vocals
Steve DiGiorgio - Bass
Gene Hoglan - Drums
Andy LaRocque - Guitar
If you are familiar with death metal musicians you'd come to realize that these are some of the genre's best. Chuck is always capable of writing incredible and intricate riffs along with amazing vocal work. Steve DiGiorgio's bass lines will always dominate a mix with his trademark fretless bass grooves. And what can be said about Gene Hoglan that hasn't already be said" The man is a machine, period. While Andy LaRocque is overshadowed by the rest of the band, he still joins in nicely and lays down some great riffs and solos, too.
What was good about the album:
-- If you're a fan of technical music, look no further than Death. Their songs are always filled to the brim with musically complicated riffs, drum parts, bass grooves, and much more. The band is also constantly changing up time and key signatures throughout which will appeal to the jazz and progressive fans out there.
-- Every member of the band gets an equal share in the spotlight. While Chuck is the leader of the band, he still gives the other members plenty of time to be heard and show off their obvious talents. Gene Hoglan is always blasting away with his tremendous speed and amazing chops. Steve DiGiorgio is constantly throwing you some unique and unexpected bass lines that sound like no other death metal band I've ever heard. Andy LaRocque also will occasionally play out with a great solo or two.
-- The album is very consistent and doesn't really have any filler tracks. From start to finish I found myself really enjoying the entire thing and not really finding a place that I thoroughly didn't like.
-- The group has changed their sound for the better. Since their earlier days with Scream Bloody Gore their sound was a lot more simplistic. While the songs were still good, they aren't nearly as enjoyable as Death's later works. I'm much more into their technical metal songs than their primitive and brutal material.
-- The lyrics aren't just your standard off-the-mill death metal subjects. Chuck Schuldiner actually writes about stuff that can apply to real life situations. He also writes about things that people can adapt to, myself included. I'm glad their songs are not just about brutality and carnage. While that's good sometimes, it just wouldn't work with this sound.
What was bad about the album:
-- I can't say that I'm big on the production style that this album has. The guitar tone is a little annoying at times and could have been improved so that it didn't sound nearly as muddy. The bass, while having some great lines, is occasionally turned up too much (like in the last song, The Philosopher). The fretless bass sound also doesn't help when it's turned up so much, because it just sounds goofy and out of place.
-- Chuck's vocals are not at his peak yet. In 1998 when Death released their final album, The Sound of Perseverance
, his vocals were top notch. They were clear, powerful, and unique. Since this album was five years before that, his style had not yet fully been perfected. His lyrics are occasionally hard to understand due to the sloppy vocals which would probably annoy some listeners. Not that big of a deal, but it's still noticeable.
Trapped in a Corner
-- High level of technicality and musicianship
-- This album has the best Death lineup of all time
-- Unique guitar riffs and great solos
-- A very powerful rhythm section
-- No filler songs
-- The lyrics aren't just about gore
-- Strange production quality, occasional problems with mixing
-- Chuck Schuldiner's vocals are occasionally off
Final Rating: 4.5/5 -- A truly superb album! You should check this out no matter what type of music you're into.